Rachio detected a fault in zone master valve with a motorized ball valve

I installed a US Solid motorized ball valve (9~24V AC/DC) before the backflow preventer as my master valve.

Half of the time, it fails with message Rachio detected a fault in zone master valve while running a schedule on your controller, so basically, my irrigation system is so unreliable and I can not trust it.

How do I do some debugging? Thanks.

Is it possible that valve draws more current than the Rachio can supply?

Rachio (or probably any sprinkler clock) can’t fire that type of valve. The master valve is meant to be a secondary solenoid style valve. I suspect the 3-5 second open/close time might be causing the fault, but can’t say for sure.

US Solid makes solenoid style valves as well, but you can do it quite a bit cheaper with a standard irrigation valve.

1 Like

@dbtsai - one option would be to put a SPST 24 VAC relay and additional 24 VAC power supply in the system. Have Rachio fire the relay, which should have a low draw for its coil, and the connect the additional power supply through the relay to the motorized ball valve.

If you want to check that it is the ball valve causing the issue, then I’d do one of two test.

  1. If there is a terminal with no valve connected to it, configure that zone as an active zone and then fire off a quick run, 5 minutes. If there is an error message, then the ball valve is pulling too much current. If all the terminals are in use, then one can remove the field wire for this test.

  2. Run a quick run, say 5 minutes, on a zone that is not at the start of a schedule - in the event that the first zone being called is actually causing the problem. If there is not error, then run the first zone and see if you get an error message. If so, then it might be the first zone’s solenoid that is pulling too much current.

When there is a master valve in the system, Rachio has to guess if it is the master valve or the zone valve that is causing the problem.

1 Like